Dampening Down

Seren Morey, Âme, 2018, 22x19x4 in.,Ultralight, dispersions and urethane on panel

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn who it touches.” -E.E. Cummings

A first snow signals transition. A time when the world quiets, slows its pace for just a moment. Children rejoice in a new plaything and freedom from their studies while the adults each have their own relationship with this new familiar visitor. Snow is transitory, here one day and gone the next, a perfect reflection of the nature of life. Beneath the blanket lies dormant ground, paused until the warmth of spring renews the life that dwells there silently.

Seren Morey was joined by her dog during our interview. The two of them spoke to us from her home/studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At the moment Morey spends a lot of time in her studio working on two large paintings, a medium sized diptych and one small painting. It is not at all uncommon for her to be involved in multiple projects at once.

A few years back Morey began using pastry bags and cake tips to apply her media, a process she says is very messy but a lot of fun. Her medium is something called Ultralight, produced by Guerra Paint and Pigment with whom Morey is a partner along with her husband who makes most of her paint for her. The material is super lightweight and durable allowing Morey to create her dynamic 3-D art.

Morey uses synthesized pigments which she says function very differently than mineral pigments. Organic, inorganic and earth pigments, while very beautiful, do not possess the same tinting strength as synthesized pigments which can produce bold results. Some earth pigments are a struggle to work with as they are very thick making them difficult to use. Morey works exclusively with light-fast pigments and says that cleaning her dimensional work is not difficult at all.

Morey draws inspiration from science, nature and the underlying structure of things. She works with ideas of hybridization and patterns in nature, paying special focus to the knowledge that there are just a few patterns in nature that repeat themselves. Her work is relatively abstract. The rose shape appears quite a lot because she is particularly moved by the spiral pattern of a rose that is repeated across the universe.

One of her current works is leaning toward representation in that she is using materials to make molds which she will incorporate into the work. This diverges from her usual process in which she creates abstract shapes.

Morey taught at Pratt Institute for three years. She is also the mother of a nearly ten year old daughter which takes up a lot of her time and focus.

To hear more about her fascinating work and discussion of materials and pigment, listen to the complete interview.

Emireth Herrera is a curator living and working in New York. She is currently enrolled in a Masters program at Institute of Sinai through New York University. Her program is Art History and Archaeology with focus in Latin America and Curatorial Studies.

At the moment Herrera is curating a show at Museum of Queens. She also has a personal project which is a series of workshops titled Between the Vulnerable Territory and the Utopia. The first workshop took place over the summer in Denmark. Herrera found it interesting to discover what people living in a country where all of their basic needs are covered considered their vulnerable territory.

Herrera does her workshops domestically at Flux Factory in Queens. She says all of the participants at the workshop in Queens were black. For them, vulnerable spaces were completely opposite those of participants in Denmark. At the Queens workshop basic needs were vulnerable space on top of which sat other complex issues and needs. The people she worked with were in a homeless shelter. They said that being black presents an enormous obstacle for them.

Herrera has considered including her workshops as part of her studies, perhaps using them as part of her thesis.

To hear more about the profound work Emireth Herrera involves herself in, and her vision for curator/artist collaboration, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

First snow signals something different for every one. What does it mean for you? Or perhaps where you live there are no first snows. What does the idea of snow conjure, then?

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Seren Morey has been reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Emireth Herrera recently read Frantz Jourdain and the Samaritaine by Meredith L. Clausen.

Opportunities

Contemporary Craft invites artists whose work deals in some way with food justice to apply to their forthcoming exhibition FOOD JUSTICE: Growing a Healthier Community Through Art. The exhibition is open to artists at any age or stage within the US and abroad. Contemporary Craft posts the following about the exhibition:

Food security is among the most basic of human needs, but contemporary issues preventing equitable access to food are extremely complex. Economic inequality and structural racism, corporate agricultural practices, food waste, climate change, and domestic and geopolitics are among the many factors that contribute to the growing disparity in the distribution of food resources across the US and around the globe. 521,750 Pennsylvania children and nearly 1 in 7 of our neighbors in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County are “food insecure,” lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Deadline for entry is December 7.

Deadlines

Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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